An idea to vastly increase the carrying capacity of radio and light waves has been called into question.
The “twisted light” approach relies on what is called light’s orbital angular momentum, which has been put forth as an unexploited means to carry data.
Now a number of researchers, including someformally commenting in New Journal of Physics, say the idea is misguided.
Responding in the same journal, the approach’s proponents insist the idea can in time massively boost data rates.
That promise is an enticing one for telecommunications firms that are running out of “space” in the electromagnetic spectrum, which is increasingly crowded with allocations for communications, broadcast media and data transmission.
So others are weighing in on what could be a high-stakes debate.
“This would be worth a Nobel prize, if they’re right. Can you imagine, if all communications could be done on one frequency?” asked Bob Nevels of Texas A&M University, a former president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Antennas and Propagation Society.
“If they’ve got such a great thing, why isn’t everyone jumping up and down? Because we know it won’t work,” he told BBC News.
The disagreement in New Journal of Physics provides a window on the time-honoured practice of open debate in academic journals (as opposed to the increasingly widespread approach of debating issues before they are even formally published): a kind of “he says, she says” with references.
BBC has the full article